When he found out that the Little Bow Hutterite Colony in southern Alberta was to be flooded upon completion of a nearby dam, award-winning documentary photographer George Webber visited the inhabitants. He hoped they would allow him to photograph them at work and at play, before their homes disappeared forever. Over the next four years Webber witnessed and
photographed, gently and unobtrusively, the daily life in the colony and finally its abandonment. They welcomed him into their barns, gardens, kitchen, dining room, school, and - ultimately - their church. This mutual respect and affection is reflected in the remarkable photographs collected in A World Within.
The necessities of documentary photography are a good match for Webber's photographic methods and sensibilities. He eschews the use of flash and prefers to work only with available light. Webber's spare, unstaged compositions reflect the simple lifestyle of the colony. The speed of film he uses gives his images strong blacks and crisp whites, the grainy greys adding warmth to each image. The result is A World Within - an exquisite collection of black-and-white photographs, taken with an understanding, sensitivity, and spiritual connection that makes them exceptional.
A foreword on the history of Hutterites in Canada written by University of Alberta religion scholar David Goa, and a series of excerpts from Webber's journals, provide cultural context for the images.